Face to face with a clueless board.

Author:Kristie, James
Position:LEADERSHIP - Reprint

From Worm on a Chopstick by Paul B. Silverman. Copyright [c]2011 by the author. Published by Gemini Business Press, Reston, Va.

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN surprised how major companies with highly talented, experienced executives miss the mark. One situation in particular stands out. With several senior management consulting associates, we conducted a presentation to the board of directors of a major retailing chain. Joining me were a well-known former retailing executive now serving as a management consultant and several other highly talented senior staff. My role was typically to share a vision on how information technology was changing, where the opportunities were, and how this translated into changing business processes and business metrics and impacted shareholder value.

Our brief but substantive presentation covered a lot of ground, looking at new retailing business models, how shareholder valuation changes with different strategy directions, projected market shifts, and so on. The reaction? Something like, "Interesting, but we are focusing on our core business, which is working well. We are integrating technology within our five-year plan. We are on track and are meeting our targets comfortably. We...

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